PDF reports (using masks or layers)

This article explains the different ways to create a PDF report. All generated reports are regular PDF documents and can be open in any PDF viewer. With pdfToolbox you have two different options to create a PDF report. Lets have a look at these.

PDF report – Overview page

If "PDF report" is selected, pdfToolbox will generate a PDF document which can be opened in any PDF viewer. This PDF report optionally begins with an overview page; this page summarizes information about the preflighted document, the environment in which it was preflighted and provides a list of errors, infos and warnings. This PDF report ist static, in the sense that you cannot change the layout, colors or text of the preflight report.

Example of the overview page of a PDF report

PDF report (Custom) – Overview page

If "PDF report (Custom)" is selected, a HTML template is used for the overview page layout. pdfToolbox comes with a predefined layout "PDF report (Overview)" which can be selected at the bottom of the dialogue.

Example of the overview page of a PDF report (Custom)

Unlike the static PDF report, the layout and content of the custom PDF report can be extended and customized:

  • Optional pages: As of pdfToolbox 14, it is possible to add five optional pages to your report. These pages provide information about the spot colors, page information, ink coverage, ink amount and separation previews. How to add these pages to your report is explained in this article.
  • Modify the template: You can create your own templates, by modifying the predefined template. For example you can change colors, add your own logos or artwork and even modify what text is shown. The next article will give you an overview of all components of the report template.

Highlighting problematic objects using masks or layers

In addition to the overview page you can generate a copy of the PDF file that was preflighted where all hits are identified and highlighted either by layers or masks. This copy will be added after the overview page.

Example of a layer report

The layer report puts objects with a particular problem on a layer; this allows toggling layers on and off to see all objects causing a Warning or Error. Because the report also adds background layers, you can easily see the problem objects on differently colored backgrounds (which is great to see white objects for example).

Example of a mask report

The transparency mask report uses a combination of transparent objects and comments to highlight all objects causing a Warning or Error.  Additionally, bookmarks are added to make it easier to navigate through the highlighted areas.

The first level of the bookmark hierarchy has:

  • The name of the Profile, Check or Fixup that was used. The destination is the first page of the report.
  • The severities (Error, Warning or Info) of the hits encountered. The destinations are the first pages with a hit of the respective severity.
  • "Switch highlighting off" stays on the current page but switches all masks off.

On the second level within Severities, there are the names of the respective Checks. Within each Check on the third level are all pages where the respective Check found a hit.